IF there is one thing Mandurah’s Morahu ‘Maurice’ Heta-Tohu knows all about it is perseverance.
The keen darts player has just received his first call up to the WA State squad, which will see him jetting off to Bendigo, Victoria for Nationals in late July.
He says his long-time love for darts was only rivalled by his desire to represent his State.
“It has taken me 20 years to wear the Swan on my back,” he said.
“It’s been a goal since I started playing darts. I wanted to represent WA.”
Heta-Tohu said after making it through to the State selection squad every year for 16 years without receiving a coveted call-up, he left the game, frustrated by in-house politics.
“I actually gave up because there was a bit of politics involved,” he said.
“They weren’t giving other players opportunities at State level.”
The former truck driver returned last year after more than 15 years away from the sport.
The comeback almost paid dividends in 2015, but he once again fell at the final hurdle of State selection.
However, this year after a dominant season at local level, which included wins in the Mandurah men’s singles and doubles, Heta-Tohu finally secured his place in the eight-man team.
“I actually had a tear in my eye and I thought ‘I’ve made it’,” he said.
“It’s been a struggle because some days you’re just on fire, and then there are some days where the harder you throw or the harder you try, the worse your darts get.”
“Darts is a mind over matter game so you have to be focussed on what you’re doing.”
Currently ranked 14th in the State, Heta-Tohu said he was confident the WA side heading east this year could secure the trophy, which would make it back-to-back State championship wins for WA.
“It’s a completely different team,” he said.
“Our state team this year has four rookies in and I’m one of them,” he said.
“We’ve got the younger ones in to give them an opportunity to perform in the State titles.”
Heta-Tohu said he owed a lot to many people, especially his wife. “My wife has supported me through all the things we’ve been through and my downs of not making the team all those years ago and still supporting me to now come back and finally make it,” he said.
The National Dart Championships begin on July 27.